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Tulsa Race Massacre survivors receive historic donation from New York nonprofit

Courtesy Cassidy Mudd
The three known survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre are seen posing for a photo while holding a check written for $1 million. The gift was donated by the Business for Good Foundation; a New York based nonprofit established by Ed and Lisa Mitzen.

A philanthropic organization from New York has made a historic donation as an act of generosity to the last three known survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

Viola Ford Fletcher, Lessie Benningfield Randle, and Hughes Van Ellis were presented with a check for $1 million at the Greenwood Cultural Center on Wednesday.

The gift, donated by the Business for Good Foundation, will be split between the three living survivors.

Ed Mitzen, cofounder of the New-York based nonprofit said he felt compelled to make the donation after reading an article from the Washington Post about the massacre.

"The fact that it was a 101-years-ago shouldn't negate the fact that they were wronged," Mitzen explained. "We thought that by us giving a little bit of financial help to the families and survivors and their children and grandchildren, would help brighten their day. Make them realize that people care, and that their struggle mattered."

Ike Howard, the grandson of Viola Ford Fletcher, said that the gift will be used for a variety of things to help keep the survivors feeling comfortable at their age.

"It's gonna change quite a few lives," Howard said. "Personally for them, it will assure that they can do whatever they wanna do."

The 101-year-fight for reparations is still ongoing.

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